Archive for November, 2006


November 30th, 2006


This is me using the PhotoBooth feature on my new mac. I’m in a motel in Albany, on my way to Bryn Mawr. Thank you all for those excellent computer cable management tips. And thanks for passing along Steve Duin’s book column for the Oregonian, in which he said Fun Home should win the Pulitzer.

It didn’t win one, sadly, but I have received a far, far greater honor I must tell you about. I’ve just been invited to join the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary. (I would have used triple exclamation points there, but in my lofty new position of linguistic authority, I feel I should set an example.)

The American Heritage is my absolute favorite dictionary. It’s beautifully designed and has thousands of cool pictures, which I used to refer to constantly in the dark ages before Google Image Search. But the best thing about it is its Usage Notes, which I often read for sport. Here, you can go check one out yourself. Read this fascinating explanation of the problem with the word “deceptively.”

What do members of the Usage Panel do? They get to vote on whether usages like “deceptively simple” are acceptable or unacceptable. I just filled out a ballot consisting of a long list of problematic words. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long, long time. But I must confess—although I’m a social liberal, lexicographically I’m a hard line conservative. I will defend the proper pronunciation and spelling of “chaise longue” to the death.

You can check out a list of who else is on the panel here. Though it’s kind of old and a lot of these people are dead. Guess that’s why I got invited. Or maybe they’re trying to balance out Antonin Scalia. Or maybe it was because they spotted that post from last month where I dressed up like Dr. Johnson.

from chaos to slightly less chaos

November 28th, 2006

Today I decided I couldn’t stand the filthy rat’s nest of cables and AC adaptors and dead spiders under my desk for one more second. Here’s a before picture of one small corner of the maelstrom.


Here’s a sampling of the devices I unhooked and dusted off, my own personal electronics warehouse. What the hell are all these freakin’ things?

electronics warehouse

After. Ahhhh.


That made me feel so good, I also put down fresh duct tape on my splintering plywood floor.

fresh duct tape


November 28th, 2006

Fun Home made the New York Times list of 100 Notable Books of the Year! Thanks to all the people who alerted me to this fact before I knew it myself.

Cartoonists Panel at Bryn Mawr

November 28th, 2006

Hey, on Thursday I’m going to be near Philadelphia, on a panel at Bryn Mawr College’s Center for Visual Culture. Jessica Abel, Gabrielle Bell, Lauren Weinstein and me will be discussing “New Frontiers in Cartooning and Graphic Novels.” The event is free and open to the public, at 8pm in Thomas Great Hall.

I love them Bryn Mawr women. I used to live in a household full of them, one of whom was my girlfriend.

DTWOF episode 500

November 21st, 2006

Okay. Here’s number 500. I’m putting it up a week early, just because it’s number 500 and I’m so relieved to be done with it. People have been asking about the fundraiser–the grand total to date is $3081.52. SIX times the $500 by episode 500 that was initially proposed. Thank you all so much. I’m very, very grateful. Read the rest of this entry »

Your perspicacious comments on 499

November 17th, 2006

My deadline is looming for episodes 500 and 501, but I’m in a serious procrastination trough. I always have this problem, but it seems worse than usual right now, perhaps due to the daunting evenness of the number 500. I wasn’t going to read the comments people were making about 499 because I didn’t want to be swayed by them. But finally I broke down and looked, and I’m glad I did.

First of all, I’m astonished at how closely you’re all reading everything. That doesn’t help my paralysis. But man, I made so many mistakes in Read the rest of this entry »

Belated Europe pix

November 17th, 2006

I put together a set of photos on Flickr of some of my adventures in Paris and Brussels last month. For various reasons, as you may recall, I didn’t have my digital camera on this trip. But a couple people kindly sent me shots they’d taken, and I just added some more that I took with a disposable camera. I wish the Flickr slideshow mode would display the photo captions, but I can’t seem to find a way to make that happen.

Oh! Duh. I figured it out. Just click on a photo in the slide show, and you’ll get a slightly smaller version plus the caption. Then you can forward the pix manually, and continue reading their captions.

DTWOF episode 499

November 13th, 2006

Here’s th’ latest. But don’t expect to find anything about the election in it–I had to write this a couple weeks ago. Read the rest of this entry »

Alison on Vermont Public Television

November 10th, 2006

Katie here.  I hope you enjoyed the ’80’s pictures.  I’ve got some Chucks lined up in place of the shoes pictured below.

Here’s a comment written by ‘NLC’ from the last post that I would like to highlight: If you live in VT, tune in to Alison on Vermont Public Television!

Public Television Interview with Alison Bechdel

Host Fran Stoddard will interview cartoonist Alison Bechdel on the show Profile on Vermont Public Television this month. Bechdel is the creator of Dykes to Watch Out For comic strip that OITM runs each month, and wrote the graphic novel Fun Home that was published earlier this year.
The Profile interview with Bechdel will air twice: From 7:30-8 pm on Monday, November 20, and from 1:30-2 pm on Sunday, November 26.


Also, a quick note to everyone who’s part of the conversation on this blog: sometimes our spamfilters pick up legitimate comments along with the goodness-knows-what of spam.  This can cause a delay from when you post and when I find your comment caught in our spamfilter.  Comments posted anonymously might not come through,  and you might be filtered inadvertently if you post a link with no text or with text that advises “check out this link”.  It doesn’t seem to like some names, either- I couldn’t claim to understand all of the algorithms that go into writing a spamfilter, but these are a few quick tips to avoid being mistaken for spam.

Eighties Katie

November 10th, 2006

My assistant Katie was working here this afternoon. I asked her if she was doing anything fun this weekend and she told me she was going to an eighties party. It took me a while to realize what that even meant…shoulder pads? Cosby sweaters? But then I tried to think what I was wearing in the eighties. 501’s! I dug a pair up for Katie, which she liked. Then I started rifling through my t-shirt and political button archives. Katie chose my Oberlin Womyn’s Collective 1980-81 t-shirt. I also ran across the denim jacket that I bought when I came out. And my gigantic wire-rimmed glasses from 1984. I think she’s going to add a rolled-up bandana headband. But even without that crowning touch, the overall effect was quite eerie.

eighties katie

Katie allowed me to post this only if I promised to also post a picture of her without the dorky glasses.

katie, no glasses